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Our School community believes that:

  • Everyone has the right to feel safe at school
  • Everyone has the right to be happy at school
  • Everyone has a duty to help and support all members of our community.

Our Anti bullying Policy can be found by clicking here.

It aims to ensure that the Governors, staff, parents and students work together to make Durham High School a place where Bullying will not be accepted.

Our policy outlines what Durham High School will do to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying.

The policy has been adopted with the involvement of the whole school community.

Durham High School is committed to developing an anti-bullying culture where the bullying of adults, children or young people is not tolerated in any form.

What is Bullying?

 Bullying can be defined as “behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally”. (DfE “Preventing and Tackling Bullying”, July 2017).

What does Bullying look like, feel like, sound like? 

Bullying is any behaviour by an individual or group that:

  • Is meant to hurt –the person or people doing the bullying know what they are doing and mean to do it.
  • Happens more than once – there will be a pattern of behaviour, not just a ‘one- off’ incident
  • Involves an Imbalance of power – the person being bullied will usually find it very hard to defend themselves.

Bullying can be:

  •  Physical, e.g. kicking, hitting, taking and damaging belongings
  • Verbal, e.g. name calling, taunting, threats, offensive/personal remarks
  • Relational, e.g. spreading nasty stories, gossiping, excluding from social groups
  • Cyber, e.g. sending offensive, upsetting and inappropriate messages by phone, text, instant messenger, through gaming, websites, social media sites and apps and sending offensive or degrading photos or videos.
  • Indirect, e.g. graffiti, defacing of property, display of pornographic, class, disability, homophobic, racist or sexist material.
  • Bullying is recognised by the school as being a form of peer on peer abuse. It can be emotionally abusive and can cause severe and adverse effects on children’s emotional development.

Forms and types of bullying covered by our policy

Bullying can happen to anyone. This policy covers all types and forms of bullying including:

  • Bullying related to physical appearance
  • Bullying of young carers, children in care or otherwise related to home circumstances
  • Bullying related to physical/mental health conditions
  • Physical bullying
  • Emotional bullying
  • Sexual bullying
  • Bullying via technology, known as online or cyberbullying
  • Prejudicial bullying (against people/students with protected characteristics):
  • Bullying related to race, religion, faith and belief and for those without faith
  • Bullying related to ethnicity, nationality or culture
  • Bullying related to Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND)
  • Bullying related to sexual orientation (homophobic/biphobic bullying)
  • Gender based bullying, including transphobic bullying
  • Bullying against teenage parents (pregnancy and maternity under the Equality Act)

Our Community: 

  • Monitors and reviews our anti-bullying policy and practice on a regular basis.
  • Will uphold the Fundamental British Values of Mutual Respect, Tolerance, Rule of Law, Democracy and individual liberty.
  • Will provide through the PSHCCE curriculum, tutor programme, assembly themes and Computing curriculum, rich opportunities to discuss differences, protected characteristics, discrimination, healthy relationships and keeping safe (on and offline).
  • Supports staff to promote positive relationships to help prevent bullying.
  • Recognises that some members of our community may be more vulnerable to bullying and its impact than others; this may include children with SEND.
  • Being aware of this will help us to develop effective strategies to prevent bullying from happening and provide appropriate support, if required.
  • Will intervene by identifying and tackling bullying behaviour appropriately and promptly.
  • Ensures our students are aware that bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively; that everyone should feel safe to learn and abide by the anti-bullying policy.
  • Requires all members of the community to work with the school to uphold the anti-bullying policy.
  • Recognises the potential impact of bullying on the wider family of those affected so will work in partnership with parents/carers regarding all reported bullying concerns and will seek to keep them informed at all stages.
  • Will deal promptly with grievances regarding the school response to bullying in line with our complaints policy
  • Seeks to learn from good anti-bullying practice elsewhere.
  • Utilises support from the Local Authority and other relevant organisations when appropriate.

Reporting concerns about bullying

All concerns about bullying will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

All students will be encouraged to report bullying by:
• Talking to a member of staff of their choice

Parents/ carers are encouraged to report concerns about bullying to the School and to support the school in tackling it. Trying to resolve bullying directly with the bully or their families can lead to problems escalating.

A member of staff, who believes that he or she is being bullied or harassed, will be encouraged to report it to a colleague of their choice.


Procedures to be followed for all reported incidents of bullying

  •  All incidents of bullying must be recorded on CPOMS under Bullying. This will alert the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and the Safeguarding Team that a bullying issue has been identified and recorded.
  • The school will provide appropriate support for the person being bullied – making sure they are not at risk of immediate harm and will involve them in any decision-making, as appropriate.
  • Parental contact will be made for both the victim and the perpetrator so that parents are kept fully informed.
  • The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated by the Head of Year or a member of SLT. This will involve interviewing all parties involved.
  • The school will speak with and inform other staff members, where appropriate.
  • Sanctions, as identified within the school behaviour policy, and support will be implemented in consultation with all parties concerned.
  • The school will ensure parents/carers are kept informed about the concern and action taken, as appropriate and in line with child protection and confidentially policies.
  • The person dealing with the Bullying Investigation should log all outcomes and actions on the ‘Bullying Incident form’ (Appendix B).
  • If necessary, other agencies may be consulted or involved, such as the police, if a criminal offence has been committed, or other local services including early help or children’s social care, if a child is felt to be at risk of significant harm.
  • An attempt will be made to help the bully/ bullies change their behaviour through a reflection programme (a series of workshops led by the Head of Year.
  • Restorative Justice in the form of mediation will be attempted.
  • Where the bullying of or by students takes place off school site or outside of normal school hours (including cyberbullying), the school will ensure that the concern is fully investigated.

If required, the DSL will collaborate with other schools. Appropriate action will be taken, including providing support and implementing sanctions in school in accordance with this policy and the school’s behaviour policy.

Responding to Cyberbullying incidents

When responding to cyberbullying concerns, the school will:

  • Act as soon as an incident has been reported or identified.
  • Provide appropriate support for the person who has been cyberbullied and work with the person who has carried out the bullying to ensure that it does not happen again.
  • Encourage the person being bullied to keep any evidence (screenshots) of the bullying activity to assist any investigation.
  • Take all available steps where possible to identify the person responsible. This may include:
  • looking at use of the school systems;
  • identifying and interviewing possible witnesses;
  • Contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary.
  • Work with the individuals and online service providers to prevent the incident from spreading and assist in removing offensive or upsetting material from circulation. This may include:
  • Support reports to a service provider to remove content if those involved are unable to be identified or if those involved refuse to or are unable to delete content.
  • Confiscating and searching students’ electronic devices, such as mobile phones, in accordance with the law and the school searching and confiscation policy.
  • Requesting the deletion of locally-held content and content posted online if they contravene school behavioural policies.
  • Ensure that sanctions are applied to the person responsible for the cyberbullying; the school will take steps to change the attitude and behaviour of the bully, as well as ensuring access to any additional help that they may need.
  • Inform the police if a criminal offence has been committed.
  • Provide information to staff and students regarding steps they can take to protect themselves online. This may include:
  • advising those targeted not to retaliate or reply;
  • providing advice on blocking or removing people from contact lists;
  • helping those involved to think carefully about what private information they may have in the public domain.

Supporting students

Students who have been bullied will be supported by:

  • Reassuring the student and providing continuous pastoral support.
  • Offering an opportunity to discuss the experience with the Mental Health Lead or Head of Year or the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • Being advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience as appropriate.
  • Working towards restoring self-esteem and confidence.
  • Providing ongoing support; this may include: working and speaking with staff, offering formal counselling, engaging with parents and carers.
  • Where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance; this could include support through Early Help or Children Social Work Service, or support through the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Students who have perpetrated bullying will be helped by:

  • Discussing what happened, establishing the concern and the need to change.
  • Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviour of the child.
  • Providing appropriate education and support regarding their behaviour or actions.
  • If online, requesting that content be removed and reporting accounts/content to service provider.
  • Sanctioning, in line with school behaviour/discipline policy; this may include official warnings, detentions, removal of privileges (including online access when encountering cyberbullying concerns), and suspensions or permanent expulsion.
  • Where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance; this may include involvement from the Police or referrals to Early Help, Children Social Work Service, or the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Supporting adults

Our school takes measures to prevent and tackle bullying among students; however, it is equally important to recognise that bullying of adults, including staff and parents, whether by students, parents or other staff members, is unacceptable.

Adults who have been bullied or affected will be supported by:

  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the concern with the designated safeguarding lead, a senior member of staff / the Staff Mental Health Lead and/or the Principal.
  • Advising them to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience, as appropriate.
  • Where the bullying takes place off school site or outside of normal school hours (including online), the school will still investigate the concern and ensure that appropriate action is taken in accordance with the schools’ behaviour and discipline policy.
  • Reporting offensive or upsetting content and/or accounts to the service provider, where the bullying has occurred online.
  • Reassuring and offering appropriate support.
  • Working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance.

Adults who have perpetrated the bullying will be helped by:

Discussing what happened with a senior member of staff and/or the Principal to establish the concern.

  • Establishing whether a legitimate grievance or concern has been raised and signposting to the school’s official complaints procedures.
  • If online, requesting that content be removed.
  • Instigating disciplinary, civil or legal action as appropriate or required.

Preventing bullying


The whole school community will:

  • Create and support an inclusive environment which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others, which will be upheld by all.
  • Recognise that bullying can be perpetrated or experienced by any member of the community, including adults and children (peer on peer abuse).
  • Recognises the potential for children with SEN and disabilities to be disproportionally impacted by bullying and will implement additional pastoral support as required.
  • Openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as: children with different family situations, such as looked after children or those with caring responsibilities, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality or appearance related difference.
  • Challenge practice and language (including ‘banter’) which does not uphold the school Fundamental British Values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others.
  • Be encouraged to use technology, especially mobile phones and social media, positively and responsibly.
  • Work with staff, the wider community and outside agencies to prevent and tackle concerns including all forms of prejudice-driven bullying.
  • Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children and young people.
  • Celebrate success and achievements to promote and build a positive school ethos.

Policy and Support 

The whole school community will:

  • Provide a range of approaches for students, staff and parents/carers to access support and report concerns.
  • Regularly update and evaluate our practice to consider the developments of technology and provide up-to-date advice and education to all members of the community regarding positive online behaviour.
  • Take appropriate, proportionate and reasonable action, in line with existing school policies, for any bullying bought to the schools’ attention, which involves or effects students, even when they are not on school premises; for example, when using school transport or online, etc.
  • Implement appropriate disciplinary sanctions; the consequences of bullying will reflect the seriousness of the incident, so that others see that bullying is unacceptable.
  • Use a variety of techniques to resolve the issues between those who bully, and those who have been bullied.

Education and Training

The school community will:

  • Train all staff, including: teaching staff, support staff (e.g. administration staff, lunchtime support staff and site support staff) and pastoral staff, to identify all forms of bullying and take appropriate action, following the school’s policy and procedures, including recording and reporting incidents.
  • Consider a range of opportunities and approaches for addressing bullying throughout the curriculum and other activities, such as: through displays, assemblies, peer support, the school/student council, etc.
  • Collaborate with other local educational settings as appropriate, and during key times of the year, for example during transition.
  • Ensure anti-bullying has a high profile throughout the year, reinforced through key opportunities such as anti-bullying week
  • Provide systematic opportunities to develop students’ social and emotional skills, including building their resilience and self-esteem.

Involvement of students 

We will:

  • Involve students in policy writing and decision making, to ensure that they understand the school’s approach and are clear about the part they play in preventing bullying.
  • Regularly canvas children and young people’s views on the extent and nature of bullying.
  • Ensure that all students know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying.
  • Ensure that all students are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying.
  • Involve students in anti-bullying campaigns in schools and embedded messages in the wider school curriculum.
  • Utilise student voice in providing student led education and support
  • Publicise the details of internal support, as well as external helplines and websites.
  • Offer support to students who have been bullied and to those who are bullying to address the problems they have.

Involvement and liaison with parents and carers 

We will:

  • Take steps to involve parents and carers in develop policies and procedures, to ensure they are aware that the school does not tolerate any form of bullying.
  • Make sure that key information about bullying (including policies and named points of contact) is available to parents/carers in a variety of formats, including via the school website
  • Ensure all parents/carers know who to contact if they are worried about bullying and where to access independent advice.
  • Work with all parents/carers and the local community to address issues beyond the school gates that give rise to bullying.
  • Ensure that parents work with the school to role model positive behaviour for students, both on and offline.
  • Ensure all parents/carers know about our complaints procedure and how to use it effectively, to raise concerns in an appropriate manner.

Monitoring and review: putting policy into practice

 The school will ensure that they regularly monitor and evaluate mechanisms to ensure that the policy is being consistently applied.

  • Any issues identified will be incorporated into the school’s action planning.
  • The Principal will be informed of bullying concerns, as appropriate.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead will update the Safeguarding Governor in Termly Safeguarding Committee meetings on the number of incidents investigated and the outcomes.
  • The named Governor for Safeguarding will report on a regular basis to the governing body on incidents of bullying, including outcomes.